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Thread: About to watch CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST--any last words?

  1. #1
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    About to watch CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST--any last words?

    I've just secured a copy of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, and sometime before the end of the week, I plan on venturing into it for the first time. Obviously, I've heard some truly unpleasant things about it, but I've also heard comments that have made me think that I need to experience the film at least once, even though I'm one of those vegetarian types who hates the idea of watching animals suffer. The comment that struck me most came from Lloyd Kaufman, who refered to it as a film that took horror cinema to its most "primitive" level. I've seen JUNGLE HOLOCAUST, but I probably need a pep talk for this one. Anything I should think about or pay extra attention to?
    "The presbytery has not lost its charm, nor the garden its colors."

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    Registered User John G.'s Avatar
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    Congratulations... You're about to watch the greatest (and most intelligent) cannibal film of all time! Hopefully, this will spark more discussion on this brilliant work of uncompromising cinema!

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    Registered User John G.'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by Michael Elliott
    We are going to kill them on camera, torture the little bastards. This will be a lot sicker than CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. We are going to torture them for hours.
    Too bad this is where your argument crashes down... The animals that were killed in CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST weren't tortured for long hours, or even tortured at all... They were killed swiftly, and within context for the film. Was it right? By our standards today, of course not. Can I change it by NOT watching the film? Nope... Does it prevent me from enjoying the film? Hell no...

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    Re: About to watch CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST--any last words?

    Originally posted by Doug Ford
    I've just secured a copy of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, and sometime before the end of the week, I plan on venturing into it for the first time.
    Be brave, my son.

    Really, I don't think the animal deaths are that damn bad. There are lots of other films that show animals being killed but it's only these Italian cannibal flicks that get all the lip service. There's nothing much worse than what you'd see on a farm most any "kill'n day".

    The film is very effective though. Most disturbing to me is the way some of the "actors" are treated. This was shot on location and they look like real South American Indians; I don't know who these people were but they seem like thay would be traumatized. You know, Deodato was put on trial and forced to explain that no one was killed or hurt in this!

    It's a very chilling film and well worth seeing, at least once.
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    I personally think the film is pure crap. It only got it's reputation as a "cult classic" for the animal killing scenes.

    Michael, I have a better idea: how about we take Deodato to the woods, we torture it for hours on camera, and then sell it? I know I would pay $20 to see that!

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    it features a great score by riz ortolani, actually the only redeeming factor about it IMHO* i believe there is not much to discuss about it but nostalgia and the power of publicity stills and posters* i find animal cruelty is always a big no no* i would pay 20 bucks to see both Deodato and Sergio Martino being peeled out and then swallowed by a giant snake

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    Although I think its a better film than most of the cannibal genre I still think the animal deaths are disgusting and unnecessary and I don't agree the animals wren't tortured,the killing of the turtle was horrific.
    I'm a vegetarian too so maybe thats why I have a problem with this sub genre.One of the stars of the film Robert Kerman says in the book Eaten Alive that "those scenes are disgusting and perverted" and that he ran off the set when one of the animal killings was filmed.I don't blame him!

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    Dyin Aint Much O A Livin!
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    I have both the cut version (basically all the aninal scenes removed) and the uncut. Even the cut version is chilling. I find htis film deeply disturbing. But to me this is a good thing. I "enjoyed" every minute of the cut version and was shcoked by the dramatic ending.

    I have only scene about 3/4s of the uncut version (only got it yesterday) and to be honest the animal scenes are a bit unsettling and i would advise caution.

    However as a film Holocuast is brilliant and is better than any of the other cannibal efforts ive seen by quite a bit.

    It has a different feel to the other films, its hard to explain, i know its an exploitation flick but the others seem a lot cheaper in comparison??

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    I'm not going to get into the issue of whether or not killing animals for the sake of the movie is wrong or not (it repulses me, but it ain't gonna bring 'em back, and I can put up with it in movies like Apocalypse Now). What bugs me about Cannibal Holocaust is the insulting and simultaneously self-righteous and self-loathing attitude displayed by the film. It is the literal definition of pretentious -- it pretends to be something more than it is. It's pure exploitation pretending to be a "statement" about exploitation. Deodato appears to aim the "message" of the film at its audience -- yet instead of subverting their expectations (something that a more clever director might be able to do) and provoking thought, he presents them with exactly what they came to the theater to see and then essentially says "you insipid bunch of morons, I hope you got your rocks off watching this excrement." Deodato's stance at the end is to throw up his hands and say "well, none of this is *my* fault, it's the fault of the idiots that patronize these films." Well, actually Ruggero, it *is* your fault. Ain't nobody holding a gun to your head and forcing you to shoot something you don't want to. So stop passing the buck. Deodato seems to place himself above the documentary crew he shows, but contradicts himself by pretending to condemn what he indulges in (animal cruelty, sensationalism for the sake of sensationalism, etc.). His attitude is a cheap cop-out to avoid having to admit responsibility for the savage depictions of cruelty on-screen.

    I have to admit, though, that the concept is sound, yet I think it fails where the similar Blair Witch Project succeeds -- by surrounding the "documentary" footage with "movie", which also interjects in between reels, Deodato never provides sufficient room to suspend one's disbelief. BWP never lets up on its conceit that this is actual documentary footage, while CH constantly reminds the viewer that this is all staged.

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    Registered User John G.'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by COLIN MACHRAY
    It has a different feel to the other films, its hard to explain, i know its an exploitation flick but the others seem a lot cheaper in comparison??
    That's the brilliant cinematography at work there... Repeated viewings of the film reveal just how carefully constructed the plot is... The film effortlessly makes the transition from a jungle adventure to a disturbing social commentary, and it never fails to captivate. The realistic nature of the footage that comprises the bulk of the second half of the film (reportedly, Deodato achieved the effect of the "damaged" film by running his fingers across the negatives) lends a kind of conviction to the film that's missing in other films in the cannibal genre. While many are quick to criticize the animal cruelty, they neglect to acknowledge just what a wonderful screenplay this film has. It's truly one of the greatest horror films to come out of the seventies....

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    Goblin Junkie Ian Z.'s Avatar
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    I personally think CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST is the best Italian cannibal film. Period.

    Yes, the animal killing is more than what was necessary to tell the story, and I don't feel that this at all is the reason the film has its cult status. There is far more than that.

    What I find to be so memorable about the film is the extended finale - where the footage of the cannibals taking their vengeance on the supposedly "civilized" group is being screened. Cut against the unconventionally beautiful music of Riz Ortolani, it's a terrifying sequence.

    Even if you don't feel Deodato has a right to condemn the filmmakers in the movie for being "the real cannibals" since he killed animals for shock value instead of humans, it can still work as a well-made revenge story.

    Let's not forget that the film is partially based on Jacopetti and Prosperi who apparently arranged at least one killing to beef up one of their films.

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    "While many are quick to criticize the animal cruelty, they neglect to acknowledge just what a wonderful screenplay this film has."

    John, I can't believe you actually wrote that. That screenplay could have been Citizen Kane, but the minute someone films actual living creatures being killed it becomes reprehensible. A serious ethical line has been crossed.

    If it were a real documentary, it might be a different story. But to actually, purposefully, stage real killing for the sake of some cheap exploitation film is sick beyong belief.

    How anyone could enjoy watching real murder is beyond me.

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    Goblin Junkie Ian Z.'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by DarkerShade

    How anyone could enjoy watching real murder is beyond me.
    I don't speak for anyone else, but I don't "enjoy" the animal violence. However, the film is intended to disturb, and that is precisely what it does. Thus, I watch CH because I think it does a good job of being disturbing as it intends.

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    Registered User John G.'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by DarkerShade
    John, I can't believe you actually wrote that. That screenplay could have been Citizen Kane, but the minute someone films actual living creatures being killed it becomes reprehensible. A serious ethical line has been crossed.
    So tell me... what do you accomplish by NOT watching this film? Absolutely nothing... What's done is done, and although it's sad that they went to such lengths to achieve shock value, nothing is going to change the fact that it happened. Besides, there are countless other films were animals are tortured, starved, and killed, only offscreen. What about horses in Westerns? They're often sent tumbling to the ground over trip-wire and forced into manual labor all for the sake of entertainment... I don't hear you calling A FISTFULL OF DOLLARS reprehensible, though...

  15. #15
    Registered User John G.'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by izgoblin
    I don't speak for anyone else, but I don't "enjoy" the animal violence. However, the film is intended to disturb, and that is precisely what it does. Thus, I watch CH because I think it does a good job of being disturbing as it intends.
    Exactly... Like it or not, the film has a message, and I watch the film for it's brilliant cinematography, it's compelling storyline, and the cannibals chasing our "heroes" through the jungles. Just because a film contains animal cruelty doesn't mean that fans of the film are watching it JUST BECAUSE of the animal cruelty.

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